CLARK: Throttle Promoter (Warp)


Posted on Dec 11th 2007 01:26 am

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CLARK: Throttle Promoter

Throttle Promoter
Warp Records 2007
04 Tracks. 14mins39secs
Format: Digital / 12″

The press for Throttle Promoter, Clark’s newest release, has described the EP as a “surprise”, intended to pique interest for another surprise – his upcoming full-length, Turning Dragon, due January 2008. So much for months of pre-release hype, then, but it would seem that Clark has had enough of that. 2003’s Empty The Bones Of You was promoted as a more mature, darker, and more industrial Clark (still using his full name Chris Clark at the time), a promise upon which it delivered. 2006’s Body Riddle saw another reinvention of the persona, with the now-truncated Clark focusing on intricately layered, obsessively DSP’d beats, and more delicate and emotional atmospheres.

Now, there’s Throttle Promoter, and, for the first time, this doesn’t feel like an evolution. Which is not to say that it needs to. Body Riddle was, in many ways, a fruition of everything Clark’s previous material had hinted at – deeply organic, noir spaces, inhabited by meticulously programmed (and performed) percussion. Throttle Promoter offers more of this, with an emphasis on crunchy, faux-electro beats and glitchy backdrops.

See See hits the ground running with a bursting sense of immediacy, featuring Clark’s sharpest sawtooth-led melody since Frau Wav (Brief Fling), from last year’s Throttle Furniture EP (see? Even the titles are connected). At only two minutes and thirty seconds, it’s a relatively brisk spray of glitch electro.

Next up is Dirty Pixie, featuring a pounding loop that could almost be described as danceable, like a cubist restructuring of acid house. The Aphex Twin-like distortion on the percussion harks back to Clark’s first album, 2001’s Clarence Park (which was, at the time of its release, rumored to possibly be another side project of Richard D. James). This harsh acid electro motif is carried through to track three, Kin Griff, which, truth be told, grows a bit tedious after the first two similar-sounding pieces.

Saving the best for last is a Clark trademark – just listen to The Autumnal Crash, on Body Riddle, for proof – and Throttle Promoter does not disappoint. Anchored in a minimally plugging, 606-sounding loop, the mouthful-titled Gaskarth/Cyrk Dedication (Tape) cycles through a series of percussion and bass ephemera, blanketed by a far-off, resonant, wash of ambience. Eventually, this ambience bows out in a brief surge of reverb, leaving the last 30-odd seconds to focus on the bare bones of the popping beat, at last closing the release in an exhausted cut-up of abrupt delays.

At only fifteen minutes, Throttle Promoter accomplishes the curious task of feeling both endless and extremely brief. Brief due to its length at face value, and endless due to the persistent rhythms, which never stop to rest. By the time the EP is over, it feels like a sprint – part tiring, but mostly thrilling. Clark’s EPs have a history of being generally more beat-oriented and immediate than his full-lengths, but given the undauntingly sudden and commanding nature of this sampling, the listener is left waiting impatiently for the full blast of urgency in January.


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One Response to “CLARK: Throttle Promoter (Warp)”

  1. […] is a much more immediate and incendiary collection, which builds on the momentum of the recent Throttle Promoter EP, yet those expecting a whole album of blasting Dirty Pixie or Kin Griff may be in for a shock. […]